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Global Companies are unaware of UK Bribery Act's law's extensive reach



The Act applies to any corporation or partnership that carries out business, or part of a business, in the UK.

The U.K. Bribery Act 2010 that took effect July 1 represents a major change in global anticorruption law, because the law applies both to companies that are incorporated in the U.K. as well as companies that conduct business there, whether they have a physical presence in the country or not.

It's the point in time for business unusual. The time is both right and ripe for board of directors, chief executives and senior management to refresh their Bribery, Fraud and Corruption (BFC) compliance programs.

The business climate is constantly changing, and it’s important to stay on top of new developments with a minimum of to do's for general offenses that cover the offering, promising or giving of a bribe (active bribery) and the requesting, agreeing to receive or accepting of a bribe (passive bribery).

Other minimum to do's relates to the regulation of your compliance scope that includes commercial bribery, not just bribery of government officials and avoid non-compliance liability for the actions of subsidiaries and agents with whom they do business.

Start by fully evaluating the entire operation based on the above to do's, find the gaps and make priorities by importance
  1. How and where do you do business and assess all of the new risks being faced.
  2. Drill down to determine the special aspects of doing business in a particular location and develop systems for guarding against potential violations.”
  3. The only way it can avoid penalties is to prove that it had “adequate procedures” in place to prevent the crime.
    • The procedures required of a small or medium-size company are likely to be different from those of a large, multinational corporation.
  4. Companies need to be vigilant of where their potential risks lie and investigate them fully to identify new exposures.
  5. Management is committed to foster a culture in which bribery is never acceptable, by conducting periodic risk assessments and applying due diligence procedures with regard to bribery prevention.
  6. The procedures to prevent bribery by persons associated with it must be proportionate to the risks it faces and the nature, scale and complexity of its activities.
  7. Education and training to employees, subsidiaries and business partners is easy but often lacks. It’s important that management uses the opportunity to reorganize how they communicate with employees to make sure everyone understands the new requirements.
  8. Web-based training or ‘one size fits all’ guidance in extreme situations is not enough. Rather dialogs with high-risk employees on their day-to-day BFC issues and then provide the tools and strategies for dealing with those situations.
  9. New times require improved mechanisms for risk assessment and due diligence. Rather custom tailor the approach to fit individual situations, countries, experiences, business partners and other stakeholders.
  10. One size no longer fits all is not only related to complex processes and mandates. Disciplined and rigorous, consistent approach to testing and monitoring of BFC challenges
  11. Conduct ongoing monitoring and review to assess changed circumstances and new BFC risks as they emerge.

To help companies understand how to comply with the Act, the U.K.’s Ministry of Justice issued a guidance document (available at tinyurl.com/5sf582t)